As legendary boxer Mike Tyson celebrates his 50th birthday, we look at 10 moments that made him a pop culture icon.
1) Dancing with the Stars
Proving that he’s got the moves even outside the ring, Mike Tyson strutted his stuff on Dancing with the Stars. Though he’s no spring chicken, Tyson showed that he could still sweep women off their feet — literally.
2) Biting off Holyfield’s ear
One of the most controversial moments in boxing history. The rematch between Tyson and Evander Holyfield ended up with Tyson chewing off part of Holyfield’s ear. This led to a hefty fine and suspension, but years after the incident, Tyson apologized to Holyfield on Oprah Winfrey’s talk show and buried the hatchet once and for all.
3) Unboxing a Strawberry Shortcake doll
The baddest man on the planet got his hands on a Strawberry Shortcake doll, and proceeded to un-box it by ripping away the cardboard box, before combing the toy’s hair. Creepy or funny, we leave it to you to decide.
4) A cameo in The Hangover
As if the goofy characters in The Hangover didn’t have enough to deal with, they were (un)fortunate enough to meet Tyson, whose tiger was stolen by them during their drunken stupor. Tyson didn’t take too kindly to their excuses, but eventually became their friend when they returned the fearsome feline.
5) Trading punches with Ip Man
Tyson joined the cast of Ip Man 3, and even though he wasn’t the main villain, audiences were treated to a well-choreographed, “one for the ages” bout between him and Donnie Yen.
6) Fighting on WWE
Tyson made a guest appearance during World Wrestling Entertainment’s Wrestlemania XIV pay-per-view, engaging in a brawl with members of the D-Generation X faction. Fans went crazy as the boxer went on a “rampage”, knocking out professional wrestlers even though it was all make-believe. In 2012, Tyson was inducted into the celebrity wing of the WWE Hall of Fame.
7) Getting his face inked
Tyson took a strange approach prior to his 2003 fight with Clifford Etienne. Instead of focusing on his footwork and boxing skills, he got a tattoo right smack on the left side of his face. It certainly gave him the boost in morale he needed. If you recall, he knocked Etienne out within a minute to secure his last career victory. Till today, the big man has no regrets over his choice to get his face inked.
8) Raising pigeons
Pigeons have always been part and parcel of Tyson’s life. On his reality show, he cited the death of his pigeon as the reason behind his first fight at the age of 10. Having gone through tumultuous periods in his life, Tyson now finds solace in raising pigeons, showing the world that he has a tender side to him after all.
9) Getting the Hotline Bling
Sorry, Drake, but Tyson stole the show when he sang his version of “Hotline Bling”, lisp and all.
10) Knocking out the competition
For all the memorable moments that belong to Mike Tyson, perhaps nothing compares to his stellar performances in the boxing ring. The youngest boxer to have won the heavyweight titles from various boxing federations has a win-loss record of 50-6, with 44 of the victories coming by way of knock out. In his heyday, Tyson was truly one not to be messed with. Just check out his vicious swings inside the ring.
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